Insights from Content Marketing in Tech with Jennifer Lowe
This month, Jennifer Lowe, Senior Manager, Content Marketing at Braavo, turns the blog spotlight on herself. Read on for her insights on starting a content marketing career in tech, how she thinks about writing, and what makes Braavo different from other companies.
What was it like starting your career in tech?
I started out as a social media and community manager at an agency. At the time, both Facebook and Twitter had just launched a few years prior. Everyone I knew wanted to work in medicine or law. So when I told people I updated Facebook Pages for a living, they had no idea what it meant. For years I’m pretty sure my parents didn’t believe I had a real job.
Because social media was so new, most of my clients were new start-ups, mobile apps, and virtual worlds in Silicon Valley. It was a really fun time, because nothing was established. They were creating this new model for what the world of work could look like and what it meant to have an impact.
After that, I moved over to a couple of bigger tech companies and focused on longer-form content management. Today, social media and content management are dedicated roles within most companies. Marketing classes at universities now include social media in their coursework. It’s a really different world. Even my parents can now admit that I “work in computers.”
What did you learn from these different jobs?
I gained a breadth of experience by working at a small agency right out of college. I could work in music, fashion, gaming, and tech – all in one day. I was writing, managing teams, running client meetings, and working with all levels of leadership. It gave me a lot of confidence. I’m thankful I got to try so many different things and look at different industries and see what I liked. I also had to learn really fast how to speak to people at different levels. I learned how to be scrappy, adaptable, and make decisions in ambiguity.
Working for larger tech companies gave me the opportunity to be more deliberate about what I worked on. You have access to resources at a much larger scale. With a bigger team, you can pull off some cool things. But you also need to be more thoughtful, so you become better at process.
When you identify angles for client stories, blog posts, and other content, how do you figure out what’s the exciting thing to talk about?
Some of the best writing advice I ever got was that in your first sentence, you’ve gotta bleed. Which means you need to grab attention within the first few seconds of reading. Starting my career in social media trained me to always ask myself: How can I deliver the most compelling message within the first few seconds? And continue to grab attention once they start reading?
When you study what makes content go viral, you start to see that good content always evokes strong emotions. It’s never just about dumping a lot of information and numbers. So whenever possible, I look for the messages that have some kind of strong emotional resonance, like surprise or curiosity.
We as an audience are getting smarter at deciding within a few seconds if we’re looking at real, quality content versus clickbait, corporate boilerplate, etc. That’s great for content creators who really do have a message worth sharing, but it also means you need to work harder for your content to stand out. So when it comes to sharing information, I try to get specific and share insights that are unique to the person, or haven’t been said before.
Finally, I look for the why behind why a person would want to read or sign-up. Beyond features, what do people want? As one copywriter I knew once said: What are the things that people admit to only their closest confidantes? That’s the emotional chord you want to strike. The closer you can get to the truth of what people really want, the more compelling your copy will be. Every word should feel like an answered prayer, or get them to think, “Yes, this is me.”
What inspired you to work for Braavo?
Braavo is one of the few start-ups I’ve seen that gets 6 things right:
- It solves a real problem
- Very few people are solving this problem
- Customers understand the problem and want and/or need a solution
- Customers are willing to pay/sign-up to solve this problem
- The business model makes sense
- The product works, and it works well
Besides that, Mark Loranger and Sergei Kovalenko are a rare breed of leaders that are smart, experienced, excel at both strategy and execution, and genuine. They’ve been able to make the right product decisions so that customers can actually benefit.
My team is also experienced, smart, and humble. People genuinely want to do good work. Braavo has a flexible and open work culture, and I find that my co-workers are balanced.